Young and Healthy as a Rose

Young and Healthy as a Rose
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5/10 by 1 user

"Young and Healthy Like a Rose" is a strong visionary achievement that still looks topical today as back in the times when it was filmed and banned by the then communist censorship. A story about a young delinquent, who evolves from typical outsider to mafia boss of Belgrade seemed shocking back then; today, it is the cruel reality of our times. With incredible foresight of things to come, Jovanovic's leading character says: "I am your future". More poetical than Hollywood movies, much more realistic than "Trainspotting". An exciting story about crime, drugs and the deadly grip of the secret police in Serbia. The best role of Dragan Nikolic, one of the rare ones he presented himself as a tough guy and the authentic sex symbol from this region. A slap in the face of film and other convention. A must see!

Title:Young and Healthy as a Rose
Original Title:Mlad i zdrav kao ruža
Release Date:July 13, 1971
Genres:Drama, Action, Crime
Production Co.:Dunav Film
Production Countries:Yugoslavia
Director:Jovan Jovanović
Casts:, , ,
Plot Keywords:gun, gun battle, outcast, mafia, social commentary, gangster, stolen cars, mob boss, secret police
Alternative Titles:
  • Mlad i zdrav kao ruža - [RS]
  • Jovem E Fresco Como Uma Alface - [PT]
  • Young ANd Healthy As A Rose - [GB]

Young and Healthy as a Rose Reviews

  • Shooting and drugs - Eastern Block Style!
    by dasko-1 on 17 March 2008

    15 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

    A roller coaster ride. Like an International Noise Conspiracy music video. Story of a outcast. A violent delinquent who becomes a leader of a quasi-revolutionary faction. Chaos on the streets of socialist Belgrade. This film was banned during communist SFRJ era because it was decided that it can corrupt morals of socialist youth, promote decadent behavior and ideas. After a series of crimes and mischiefs, main character becomes a real criminal, a killer on the run. He hides in the heat of the Yugoslav capital where his acts get him a following of other disillusioned, angry young people. Armed and taking it to the streets, demolishing shopping centers and occupying a fancy hotel, they clash with the police and cause a real battle...

  • Review
    by Jovan Nikolic on 10 February 2016

    2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

    At the time of it's release, Josip Broz Tito and other members of political elite kept society in dark. Yet, it is amazing that the another forbidden film was released at the same year. "Plasticni Isus" by Lazar Stojanovic. And what is interesting is that 70's were amongst most creative years in cinema of Yugoslavia. It seems that all that oppression only motivated creative individuals at that time, and even with dangers of being sent to Goli otok prison artists were motivated to create and criticize.

    Jovan Jovanovic is one of them. He directed "Izrazito ja" (1969) which is to be considered as prequel to this film. Fifteen years later, Jovanovic created "Pejzazi u magli" which is considered one of the best movies of 80's Yugoslavia.

    "Mlad i zdrav kao ruza" is a story about Stevan (Dragan Nikolic), rebel, small time crook becoming mafia boss of Belgrade. It is semi-documentary film, with many jump cuts, hand-held camera directed. One of the tastiest moments in film is police interrogation of Stevan. Several detectives were asking questions, in a sharp manner, and one of the questions was: "What did you do after dinner?". Stevan replied: "I was in cinema". Detective: "The fable of the film?". "It is Godard, there is no fable!" – Stevan replied. Unforgettable moment.

    While I can't runaway from undeniable charm of this film, it is Jovanovic's "battle" for freedom which is absurd. At the very moment of creating this film, people in Yugoslavia fully supported politics of Josip Broz and it is only handful of intellectuals who criticized dominant political values of SFRY. That being said, Stevan represents typical anachronistic hero and force me to think that this film is more relevant today than it was at the time of release. At least in Serbia.

  • A solid movie, but nothing authentic about it
    by tnosugar on 9 October 2011

    7 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

    After watching A bout de soufflé (Godart), one will notice that Young and Healthy like a Rose is another rip-off of the French Nouvelle Vague by Yugoslav directors.

    At the time this made perfect sense, with all the censorship and control over culture.

    But to call this move an authentic piece of work ahead of its time would be a mistake.

    The movie rips-off the original after 11 years.

    Having said this, in local context the movie has been very important in paving the way for a Yugoslav / Serbian new wave in film.

  • such a mess
    by dragokin on 5 November 2013

    5 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

    There are two important things to bear in mind when discussing the movies such as Young and Healthy As a Rose.

    The first thing is that it follows the fashion of the post-hippie era movies. Chaotic storytelling purports to be the true image of things, although, in my opinion, is rather a distorted mirror of reality.

    The other thing is the fact that the movie has been made in Yugoslavia in the beginning of 1970's. Although not a part of Eastern Bloc, the censorship has been very strict at the time of movie's creation. Voicing the opinion against the official dogma could have ended up your career or even led you to prison.

    Therefore, Young and Healthy As a Rose shouldn't be regarded merely as a precursor of "theater of violence", brought to mainstream by Tarantino. It was also a criticism of a totalitarian regime, despite the vague message it offered.

    The movie follows the career of a small time crook who ends up being recruited by the police. He uses his new employment to become the don of the underground and leads a revolt against the system. Back in the day the police really recruited criminals, although it has been secret service which sent them abroad to do their dirty work. At the same time, Yugoslavia was kept free from organized crime.

    The main protagonist leads his monologue almost during the entire movie, uninterrupted during most of the dialogs, as well. He is telling a limited amount of stories, but mostly uses one-liners ranging from ancient proverbs over common people's wisdom to elementary school jokes.

    Somewhere in the movie Jean-Luc Godard has been mentioned, presumably because he was a part of the inspiration. Some critics assumed that the director foreseen the downfall of Yugoslavia by criminal elements. To underline this they refer to the end of the movie where the main protagonist mentions how he is "(y)our future". Well, this might have been a strike of genius but also could have been just the cocky writer trying to impress the audience.

    Whatever the real reason has been, Young and Healthy As a Rose never achieved the notoriety of, for example, Plastic Jesus, produced in the same year. And it serves it right.

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